The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has shared the first images of the western hemisphere taken by the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) on the recently launched GOES-18 satellite.
GOES-18, NOAA’s newest geostationary satellite, launched on March 1. The ABI views Earth with 16 different channels, each measuring energy at different wavelengths along the electromagnetic spectrum to obtain information about Earth’s atmosphere, land and ocean.
GOES-18 orbits 35,785km above the equator at the same speed as Earth rotates. This allows the satellite to constantly view the same area of the planet and track weather conditions and hazards as they happen.
The ABI provides high-resolution imagery and atmospheric measurements for short-term forecasts and severe weather warnings. ABI data is also used to detect and monitor environmental hazards such as wildfires, dust storms, volcanic eruptions, turbulence and fog.
Data from multiple ABI channels can be combined to create imagery that approximates what the human eye would see from space – a result known as GeoColor. Combining data from different channels in different ways also allows meteorologists to highlight features of interest.
GOES-18 is currently undergoing post-launch testing, validation and calibration of its instruments and systems to prepare it for operations. The satellite will assist GOES-17 with GOES-West operations in late summer 2022 and again in early autumn. NOAA plans for GOES-18 to replace GOES-17 as GOES-West in early 2023.